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May 25, 2012
Memorial Day Weekend preview
Memorial Day weekend is traditionally one of the biggest weekends on the grassroots circuit. This year, it's no different. While there are events across the country, three major tournaments stand out: Under Armour "Are you from here?" Classic in Duncanville, Texas; Chicago Adidas Best Buy and Nike's final EYBL session in the Oakland area.
After checking out the last two sessions of the EYBL, Rivals.com will focus on the Under Armour- and Adidas-backed events this weekend.
Scheduled to be in town and playing for their father on the Houston Defenders, Andrew and Aaron rank Nos. 2 and 5, respectively, in the class of 2013.
Both stand 6-feet-5 with solid builds, good athleticism and off-the-charts skill levels. Andrew has always been able to dominate a game without even taking a shot but we'll be looking to see how his offense is coming along. Meanwhile, Aaron has always been a polished scorer but during the high school year he showed an increased feel for running the show and we will be looking to see how those lead guard skills have come along.
Of course, we'll also look to see what - if anything - the duo is willing to go on record with in regards to their recruitments.
Stephens still on fire?
When we updated our class of 2013 Rivals150 back in April, some were upset about the inclusion of 6-foot-5 shooting guard Kendall Stephens.
A product of St. Charles (Ill.) East, the future Purdue Boilermaker sure looked worthy of his No. 50 overall ranking when we watched him earlier this month at the Hensley Memorial Run-N-Slam in Ft. Wayne, Ind.
Starring for a balanced and deep Illinois Wolves program, Stephens looked as if he had grown and added muscle in the last year. Always a knockdown shooter from deep, Stephens was also showing more of a willingness to mix it up on the glass and take the ball to the rim.
We don't think his performance has even the tiniest shred of fluke to it, but we'll be watching to see if he can replicate the types of performances he's had all spring.
Can Walker keep it up?
One of the best developments of the spring was the play of 6-foot-9 Chris Walker.
Playing on the Adidas circuit with the Florida Rams, the five-star power forward from Bonifay (Fla.) Holmes County has used his athleticism, quickness and size to dominate around the rim as always. However, Walker has also played with a significantly higher running motor while showing off a rapidly expanding faceup game.
Walker will be in Chicago over the weekend and if he has another weekend of where his effort matches his ability, ranking the top six or seven of the class of 2013 is only going to get tougher.
One of the most intriguing players in the class of 2014 is near 7-foot big man Trayvon Reed, who will be in Duncanville with the Atlanta Xpress.
A five-star prospect who currently ranks No. 12 overall in the class of 2014, Reed is a long-term prospect who is quickly becoming more player than prospect. The Shiloh (Ga.) High product can run the floor, has above average athleticism and loads of length.
Recently, Reed's production on both ends of the floor has started to take off and he's getting stronger physically. It will be good to check in on his progress.